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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Brotherly love at West

By Tim Peterson
Deseret Morning News
Published: August 12, 2007
With numerous sets of brothers on the West football roster, some might say this season is looking to be a real family affair for the Panthers. With strong bloodlines in place, the Panthers appear unified.

"Ever since we've grown up, ever since we moved out here ... football has been our thing," explained senior captain, Sala Afeaki. "We just stay together and help each other out. Brothers are brothers, and they stay together."

The team captain is the eldest of three Afeaki brothers playing for West. He, along with junior linebacker Foueti Afeaki and sophomore running back Tana Afeaki are but one example of the team's family ties.

The brother tandems like Louie and Ricky Maka have brought a renewed sense of camaraderie to the program. Additionally, players believe the overall competition level has been raised this season.

It's not uncommon for the intensity to crank up during practices. Smack talk between groups of brothers is routine, almost becoming a way for older players to bring along their younger siblings. "We do a lot of talking out here," Afeaki declared. Most of the jibber-jabber amounts to harmless fun which is a reflection of the chemistry West has developed. The Panthers' new attitude is making the whole team step up its game

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